Photography is something I enjoy. Something I think I’m good at, not great, but good and still learning. About a year ago I took a hiatus from photography (and other hobbies) to work on myself. A little #selfcare. I’ve lost weight, I’m in better shape, mentally clear, and I’m on my way to having a generally more positive demeanor about all things.
At some point, I forgot why I started taking photos in the first place and got stuck in the loop of emulation rather than learning. It’s natural to attempt to replicate photos from the masters as a route to finding your own voice. In my case, I got lost comparing myself and my photos to masters with a lifetime of experience and never really figured out my own path or creative voice. That endless negative repetition burned me out, hard.
So I started over, something I tend to do from time to time; yearly, in fact. I forgot everything I taught myself about photography, started from scratch and dedicated myself to relearning everything from color theory to composition. I slimmed down my process and removed all the unnecessary steps toward achieving something that I was, at first, just moderately proud of.
It was a slog. Trying to actively remember that I was relearning on purpose and not immediately dismiss the stuff I already knew (or thought I knew) took a lot of mental and sometimes physical effort.
The whole purpose of this wasn’t actually to relearn how to take a photo or set up lights. I actually had a fairly decent grasp of the technical side of things. It was to remember why I started in photography (and art) in the first place. To capture true inner beauty on the outside. I got lost in trying to be both a person I wasn’t and a person I didn’t want to be. All artists have different motivations. Not all of them pure or in line with my own. I am an individual with individual thoughts and individual motivations. I think I forgot that for the longest time.
My first shoot is coming up soon. Hopefully, I’ll have a nice update for the before and after here.
I had my first shoot and finally go around to finishing those up and posting them. I couldn’t be more happy with the work I’ve put in over the last several months, and I think it shows. What do you think? Before (left) and after (right).